Sunday, November 3, 2013

Surge Narrows Expeditions - Day #3

Sunday ...the last day at the lodge and it was a play day for the paddlers to do as they wish before heading home. Robyn and I decided the night before that we would join the group heading back up to Surge Narrows to play in the currents and on the wave while others worked on rolling skills or just went for a leisurely paddle.

The time changed back to Pacific Standard Time overnight which meant that we had an extra hour of sleep before getting up to prepare for a long day of paddling and the trip home. It also meant that it was getting lighter in the morning and today was stunningly clear when I started taking pictures of the sunrise from the deck.

One of my favorites. The sun just starting to appear on the summit of Mount Doogie Dowler

A panoramic view L to R of Sturt and Goepel Islands, Whiterock Passage and Read Island

Our group was on the water at 09:30 and we paddled up to the narrows in the brilliant clear blue skies and warm sunshine. Since this was not going to be a clinic format, the paddlers needed to look after each other when we arrived at the narrows.

Huw reminds us to use a buddy system before heading into the narrows. Nobody paddles alone in there. 

On Friday I didn't really notice the slack between the ebb and flood but that might have just been the excitement of being at the famous Surge Narrows for the first time. Today I tried to see if there truly was a period of slack and from my perspective the water was always moving around the islets. There simply wasn't a slack time in my opinion.

As the current started to build Robyn decided that she would take some pictures and video from the small landing area just feet away from where the main wave develops. I'm glad that she did!

The wave just starting to form on the left and Robyn has a front row seat to the action on the right.

Robyn's little islet was the perfect platform to see our group as well as a couple of campers who spent the night on Peck Island.

L to R: Ryan, Kevin, Jennifer, Huw, Will and a couple of kayakers on Peck Island

Robyn also found the remains of lots of large sea urchins that had been consumed probably by river otters, eagle etc.  This one measured almost 6" across and was very fragile having dried out in the sun.

At the wave our group took turns working in and out of the back eddy into the main flow. My main goal for the day was to keep my paddle engaged in the water to provide bracing when I needed it. Coming off the wave I noticed the two kayakers (one in a blue Delphin) who were camping on Peck Island had joined us on the water.

As I paddled up next to the Delphin the kayaker said "You're Mark aren't you? I know you from Facebook" Talk about a the power of social media! Mario introduced himself and Reuben who was on the rocks talking Robyn. One thing lead to another and I mentioned the orcas that our group saw heading towards Surge Narrows on Saturday. Mario explained that they had a close up encounter with one of the orca only feet away the evening before.

Kaikash (A46), a 31 year old Northern Resident  Orca

Absolutely amazing!!! Now you know why our passion for kayaking is as intense as it is. You can check out Mario's blog at for his story of the orca encounter. Thanks Mario for sharing your pictures and story.

A few more rides on the wave and it was time to started heading back towards the lodge. Robyn got some great pictures from her vantage point and my GoPro captured my experience from on board my kayak.

Mario takes a ride

An then he provides assistance to Will who caught a wrong edge entering the wave

My turn and the on board video below

Susie takes control of assisting Chantal also. I was impressed with Susie's total control of the situation.
Load up time back at the lodge and then the drive to the ferry terminal.

What can we say other than a totally awesome time with the folks from Cowichan Bay Kayaks and all the other paddlers who joined us on this weekend expedition around Surge Narrows. Thanks Huw, Dave and Ali for being such great hosts and looking after us on the water. We met a whole bunch of new friends over the weekend and look forward to paddling with them again in the future. Let's do it again soon!!

Our track in the play zone

2013 Paddle #69 Surge Narrows Revisited
Distance:  3.16 nm (5.85 km)
YTD:  384.5 nm (730.5 km)

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